Cusco: Partying with C.A.S.A. Artesanas

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In Cusco, I was invited to the annual meeting and celebrations at CASA (Asociacion Campesina) and enjoyed the variety of traditional dress being worn by the women and men.P1070529

Several groups of artisans were represented, each in their distinctive dress.

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The afternoon began with some speeches and formalities.

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Each of the groups of artisans presented a role-play. This was a treat for me, as although I couldn’t understand their Qechua, their acting skills were enough to convey their message, and some of them were quite funny.

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My favourite involved a husband and wife played by two women. The husband was drunk and wanted money from his wife, who had earned her money from her weaving. The wife stood her ground and kept her money, and had the audience in hysterics. with what seemed to be very witty retorts. How common this is across cultures when a woman in a traditional social structure begins to earn her own money.

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I relished the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and intricate work displayed in these women’s outfits.

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After a feast of cuy and chicha morada, the dancing began.P1070559Some of the women had brought their work to sell.
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I loved the gradations of colour in these indigo bands:

P1070568This woman hand-spun and naturally dyed the 5 balls of alpaca I purchased from her:

Version 2It was such a privilege to be able to join the dancing and festivities with these talented artisans who are working together to keep their traditional skills alive.

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